Benzodiazepines, also known as benzos, like Xanax and Valium are central nervous system depressants that are used to treat things such as anxiety, panic disorders, seizures, alcohol withdrawal, and used as a muscle relaxant. Benzos act on specific receptors called gamma-aminobutyric acid- A, or GABA – A, receptors. They work by attaching to these GABA – A receptors and make the nerves in the brain less sensitive to outside stimulation.

How Long Are Benzos Detected in Urine?

How Does a Urine Test Work for Benzodiazepines

A positive urine test for benzodiazepines will show up as early 2 hours after a person has taken the drug. The length of time a Benzodiazepine will stay in your system is dependent upon the type of benzo you take. Long-acting benzos like Valium can stay in your urine for up to 10 days. Intermediate-acting benzos like Xanax, Ativan, Restoril, Klonopin, and Rohypnol can show up in your urine for up to 5 days. Short-acting such as Halcion and Dalmane only show up in your urine for up to 2 days.

Taking a urine test with urinalysis is the most common way to check for benzodiazepines. The amount of hydration does affect a urine test. Higher fluid intake can dilute the drugs in your system and even create a result that is a false negative.

How Long Do Benzos Stay in Your System?

A person’s metabolism also affects the outcome of a urine test. Every person’s metabolism rate is different and can vary depending on their age, gender, ethnicity, and whether the person has a liver or kidney problem. A person who has a slower metabolism means they metabolize the drug slower and it will take a longer time to leave the body. People with a faster metabolism break down the drug much quicker. Other factors also play a part in how long benzos that in a person’s urine such as:

  • Body mass
  • Duration of use
  • Amount used
  • Urine’s pH
  • The properties of the drug

Multiple other tests can be done to detect benzodiazepines in a person’s system. Blood tests are more invasive than urine tests, however, blood tests have a shorter window of time that a urine test. A hair test can also be done. Drugs accumulate in the outgrowths of a person’s hair follicles. Saliva tests can detect drugs like Xanax up to 3 days after ingestion. Saliva tests have a longer window than blood tests but shorter than urine tests.

Long-term misuse of benzodiazepines will lead to dependency and addiction. After someone has become dependent on this drug, and the drug is removed from the body, the brain will severely struggle to restore its normal balance. This results in a very uncomfortable and even dangerous withdrawal process. Withdrawal symptoms can occur after as little as 1 month of use. The severity of withdrawal relies on a range of variants.

Treatment for Benzo Addiction

If you or someone you love is ready to take the necessary steps to get sober, the best way to start is with a medically assisted detox process. Due to the brains rewiring after prolonged use, withdrawal symptoms can be extremely intense. Once you have detoxed, the best and safest option to get off of and stay off Benzodiazepines is by the use of one of the many treatment programs we offer at Recreate Life Counseling.

Addiction isn’t an easy thing to face. Luckily you do not have to face it on your own. Our admissions counselors and professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of addiction. Now is the time to change your life. Let us help you do it.


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Published on: 2020-10-07
Updated on: 2024-04-18